TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Steve Chiotakis: Angelo Cammarata’s been serving drinks to his customers in Pittsburgh for 77 years. The 95-year-old Camm, as his friends call him, is retiring from Cammarata’s Cafe in the next couple of weeks after a Guiness recognition as “world’s longest serving bartender.” He’s with us now to talk about it. Mr. Cammarata, good morning.
Angelo Cammarata: Good morning Steve.
Chiotakis: So, you know 77 years you’ve been doing this, what’s the best part of the job?
Cammarata: The best part of the job is meeting people and serving people and making friends. It’s all friendly. Our customers are all family members.
Chiotakis: You say you like to meet people and talk with people at the bar, was there anything else you wanted to do as a career?
Cammarata: Not really. I am fortunately, or unfortunately, I graduated high school in the midst of the Depression. Nothing was available. My dad had a grocery store. And so beer came back in ’33, and just automatically turned over into selling beer and getting rid of all the groceries.
Chiotakis: This was the lifting of prohibition?
Cammarata: The lifting of prohibition, yes. I sold my first bottle of beer two seconds after midnight on April the 7th. We had maybe 15-20 men, persons waiting outside because they knew it. And I took the first case of beer off the beer truck that had been parked in front of our business area and sold a bottle of beer for 10 cents.
Chiotakis: You’ve been selling a lot of beer since. What’s your favorite drink to make?
Cammarata: I’m not a mixologist. You make a gin and tonic, and you make uh…
Chiotakis: The simple stuff?
Cammarata: Yeah, yeah. We’re not a fancy bar, we’re not a big bar. We’re a neighborhood bar.
Chiotakis: What are you looking for in your retirement, sir?
Cammarata: Rest. Peace and rest. My wife is 92 and she doesn’t walk much, so I look after her needs. We look after each other.
Chiotakis: Well Angelo Cammarata joining us from Pittsburgh. Thank you and good luck to you sir.
Cammarata: Thank you.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.